Common Themes of Corruption

Corruption within cities is not just a part of a plot in films or read in the pages of fictional books but is a known truth that modern day occupants of American cities witness each and every day. Diversity is what urban planners strived for in helping welcome outsiders into their newly developed cities, but all that has successfully created is more division by forcing minorities to locate themselves into certain areas of consistent demise. Authoritative figures as well as common people all play a role in the downfall of our cities and in turn create vicious cycles of disruption. In The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Red Harvest we are shown two completely different societies that face the same critical issues of power, ignorance, and self-destruction.

Medusa was known as a bad character in Greek Mythology until she was beheaded and her head was used as a weapon to turn people to stone when they looked at her. This symbolizes the gangsters in Red Harvest and how they were looked at as bad but they also benefited the wealthy and powerful figures.
This picture symbolizes "pure watchers" and "observers" of Jacob's New York and their rarity among all of its chaos (Jacobs 37-38).
Death is a metaphor found in both Red Harvest and The Death and Life of Great American Cities. This sculpture symbolizes unnatural death, or self-destruction, brought about by one's own actions that represents the cities and power in these books.
This piece of propaganda symbolizes the authoritative figures in Red Harvest in the way that "thugs" are not often those people that are commonly thought to fit that description, but wear coats of uniform and are supposed to protect you.
A boomerang represents "what goes around comes around". This symbolizes Reno Starkey in Red Harvest as he pays the ultimate price after he declares he set up Op for Brand's death (Hammett 198).
The story of The Tower of Babel in the Bible and the contents of these two books symbolizes that humankind creates harmful societies and division among one another through the power, greed, and arrogance of our own doing.
Symbolizing Jacobs' colossal presence in New York as she led the fight against rationalist developers.
The glass box symbolizes urban planning and represents Jacobs' thought that you can make cities look a certain way from the developers point of view, but it is specifically the city's occupants that truly know that their is no truth within it.
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